US-based gaming giant Activision Blizzard, who lost $ 10,000 to a player and banned him from playing for a year after speaking out for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, was criticized by critics on Tuesday The company accused it of favoring its business activities in China to support freedom of expression.
Activision Blizzard of Santa Monica, California, banned Ng Wai Chung, who plays from a distance in Hong Kong, for one year to participate in the company's online multiplayer card game Hearthstone E-sports. The 21-year-old, known online as the "Flashback," just won $ 10,000 at the Hearthstone Asia-Pacific Grandmasters tournament when he stated in a livestream live video interview in Mandarin, "Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time." The Guardian reported that gas masks and goggles had the same equipment that Hong Kong's demonstrators wore for democracy when he made the statement. Legislators on both sides of the aisle tweeted Tuesday that Activision Blizzard's decision was one of his political views Censors gamblers, pointing out a broader concern that China's market power is being used as a lever to suppress free speech worldwide.
People who do not live in #China either have to censor themselves or face layoffs and suspensions, "wrote Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., On Twitter. "China uses market access as a lever to suppress freedom of speech worldwide."
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore, said, "Blizzard shows that it is ready to humble oneself to please the Chinese Communist Party. No American company should censor demands for freedom to make quick money. "
Chinese technology company Tencent owns 5 percent of Activision Blizzard, which generates $ 1
China's government has selected a number of US organizations, including the NBA, as the target to support the perceived protests against the Hong Kong government. Apple Inc. was the newest on Wednesday when the ruling Communist Party's main newspaper criticized the technology giant for a smartphone app on the App Store that allows activists to report on police locations and the use of tear gas.
Chung turned in on Tuesday According to The New York Times, the livestream is another service called Twitch.
"I've lost four years in Hearthstone today," he said, referring to the time and energy he spent playing the game professionally. "But if Hong Kong loses, that's a matter of life."
"I did not expect my comments to have much impact," The Guardian continued. "That's my freedom of speech. … I should not be afraid. I hope that my action will inspire other players like myself to continue to support the Hong Kong movement.
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Activision Blizzard said in a statement that Chung had injured a tournament rule that prevents players from engaging in an act that is "in public discredits or offends a part or group of the public or otherwise damages Blizzard's image. "
Players and other entrants who choose to participate in our Esport competitions must adhere to the official competition rules.
A small group of Activision Blizzard employees gathered in front of Irvine, California headquarters Tuesday to support Chung, The Daily Beast reported. Teammates also called for boycottes from Activision Blizzard game sites, including other multiplayer hits such as World of Warcraft and Overwatch, and favored Chung in a popular Cantonese-language online forum called LIHKG, The Guardian reported.
Associated Press has contributed to this report.